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Near Columbia in Tuolumne County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Mark Twain Cabin
— Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail —
 
Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail - Mark Twain Cabin Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Karen Key, March 25, 2007
1. Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail - Mark Twain Cabin Marker
 
Inscription. Stopping place of packers carrying supplies to miners. Often 200 jackasses on hill over night furnishing concert suggesting name “Jackass Hill”. Very coarse gold found here. $10,000 taken from 100 square feed of ground. Quartz found containing 3/4 of total weight in gold. Mark Twain, Steve, Jim and Bill Gilis and Dick Stoker, the “Dick Baker” in “Roughing it”, were cronies. Mark wrote here “Jumping Frog of Calaveras” from notes made at Angels Camp Tavern.
 
Erected 1929 by Tuolumne County Chamber Commerce. (Marker Number 138.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail, and the Markers with Artwork marker series.
 
Location. 37° 59.961′ N, 120° 28.612′ W. Marker is near Columbia, California, in Tuolumne County. Marker is on Jackass Hill Road 0.7 miles north of State Highway 49, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Angels Camp CA 95222, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Mark Twain Cabin (a few steps from this marker); The Story Under the Lake (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Mark Twain Cabin (approx. 0.7 miles away); Tuttletown (approx. one mile away); Robinson's Ferry (approx. 1.7 miles away); Archie D. Stevenot (approx. 1.7 miles away); Mormon Battalion Monument (approx. 2 miles away); Archie Stevenot (approx. 2.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Columbia.
 
Mark Twain Cabin Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Karen Key, March 25, 2007
2. Mark Twain Cabin Marker
 

 
Regarding Mark Twain Cabin. (Text of Rotary Club plaque shown on Photograph No. 5. This plaque can be seen on the white boulder on Photograph 4.) This cabin was first built in 1922 to commemorate the famed author’s presence in Tuolumne County during the winter of 1864–65. Sam Clemens had come over the mountains from Virgina City, Nevada, to San Francisco with his friend Steve Gillis. His various biographers gave different reasons for Clemens coming to Jackass Hill. No matter the reason, Sam Clemens arrived here on December 4, 1864.

Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, stayed with the other two Gillis brothers, Jim and Bill, and Dick Stoker (local pocket miners) until about February 25, 1865. While living on the hill, Sam heard the story of the “Jumping Frog” in an Angels Camp saloon. His version would transform his life. Also some of the tall tales spun by the Gills brothers and Stoker would find their way into Mark Twain’s later writings. That short stay here in the Sierra had quite an impact on American Literature.

Time and the elements took their toll on the first “Mark Twain Cabin,” so the Sonora Sunrise Rotary Club, during 2002-05, restored the cabin as its centennial project, celebrating 100 years of rotary (1905–2005). This cabin was dedicated on February 23, 2005, the 100th birthday of Rotary International.
 
Close Up of Marker Artwork Photo, Click for full size
By Karen Key, March 25, 2007
3. Close Up of Marker Artwork
 

 
Also see . . .
1. Bret Harte and Mark Twain in the Gold Country. (Submitted on March 31, 2007, by Karen Key of Sacramento, California.)
2. The Mark Twain Cabin. (Submitted on March 31, 2007, by Karen Key of Sacramento, California.)
 
Mark Twain Cabin Photo, Click for full size
By Karen Key, March 25, 2007
4. Mark Twain Cabin
 
 
Rotary Club Plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Karen Key, March 25, 2007
5. Rotary Club Plaque
 
 
Bret Harte Cabin Photo, Click for full size
By Joseph Palermo, circa 1933
6. Bret Harte Cabin
Photo taken by Joseph Palermo during his service with the CCC.
This cabin, though not at this site, was located somewhere near the Angels Camp/Sonora Mining towns.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on March 31, 2007, by Karen Key of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 4,416 times since then. Last updated on April 3, 2008, by Richard Wisehart of Sonora, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 31, 2007, by Karen Key of Sacramento, California.   6. submitted on September 11, 2010, by Nicholas Mickells of Omaha, Nebraska. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Actual location of the Bret Harte Cabin seen in photo #6 • Can you help?
 
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